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Burma: Politics and Government

Volume 475: debated on Monday 28 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to invoke the UN Security Council principle of the responsibility to protect in relation to Burma. (200346)

We continue to support the concept of Responsibility to Protect, under which Governments have the responsibility to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

As a member of the UN Security Council, the UK has persistently stated that the military regime in Burma must account for the systematic and appalling human rights abuses it commits against Burma's people. We strongly support the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Burma and his work to gather evidence of the abuses that have taken place. We have called for his early return to Burma to be facilitated by the regime to enable the Rapporteur to continue his vital role.

The UK has helped to secure strong resolutions on Burma at the UN Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly Third Committee, and worked to keep Burma on the Security Council agenda. The President of the UN Security Council's statement in October 2007 required a number of actions by the regime, including an inclusive transition to democracy. With the Burmese military rulers' failure to deliver any tangible outcomes despite the good work by the office of the UN Secretary-General, we will continue to consider options for further Security Council action with like-minded partners in New York.